Writing Amazing Compositions (Part 2)
Without a doubt, writing outstanding compositions in school exams, especially the PSLE and O Levels, is an important skill to master. In our previous post, we discussed one critical technique for writing amazing compositions. In summary, writers must go into details and be descriptive. In this post, we talk about how to build multiple perspectives through reading widely, and believing in the merit of what one is writing.
In order to write amazing compositions, it is essential to read more fiction and non-fiction books or articles, for the purpose of having a wide array of issues to reflect upon. Reading widely creates greater opportunities for students to develop one’s ‘personal voice’.
A personal voice in writing is the key differentiator between a good composition and an amazing composition. When this writer was in Primary 6, I vividly remember my English teacher telling my class that he had a student who consistently produced good essays in his class. However, when she went to secondary school, she was dismayed and confused as to why her marks dropped drastically and she could not pull them up. My teacher then told us that the reason was that in Secondary School, there was much more emphasis placed on the personal voice of the writer, and she was struggling to find hers. I remember feeling quite mystified and worried when I heard about the high worth personal voice has in essays, especially because of how abstract the idea of ‘personal voice’ seemed.
Unlike learning vocabulary or linking words to improve my essays, there was no concrete way to ‘learn’ personal voice. However, in the subsequent years, I realised that the path to discovering one’s personal voice was through reading as much about the world as possible and learning about pressing global issues, alongside teachers who guided me by asking pertinent questions about these issues. Having a strong opinion about issues gave me a voice when writing.
Next, the ability to write amazing compositions in the exam also significantly relies on simply having the self-confidence and belief in what one is writing and following through with the essay with confidence. The writer is comfortable standing by her work. A lack of confidence when writing is often evident to the marker. I remember writing essays in exams during which I was filled with self-doubt and felt that my sentences did not make sense. Needless to say, I did not do very well for those essays.
Indeed, before one can convince the marker of the merit of one’s point of view, one needs to be convinced first. In order to write with confidence, it is imperative to plan the essay outline well and be prepared sufficiently before the exam.
In conclusion, several factors that contribute towards being able to write amazing compositions, from providing specific details, to developing a personal voice, and to having confidence in what one is writing. Ultimately, it is important to note that writing amazing compositions requires hard work and perseverance, but the reward is more than worthwhile.